Former National Hockey League forward Gaetan Duchesne died Monday of apparent cardiac arrest while working out. He was 44.
Duchesne collapsed at a gym in Quebec City and could not be resuscitated, said a spokeswoman for his former junior team, the Quebec Remparts.
The exact cause of death was not immediately known.
Duchesne, who played 14 seasons in the NHL for five teams,including his hometown Quebec Nordiques,was out of hockey in recent years, running an architectural supply business with his brother in the province's capital.
Drafted in 1981, Duchesne played six seasons with Washington before he was dealt to the Nordiques in a four-player trade that sent Dale Hunter to the Capitals.
A left-winger, Duchesne also played for the Minnesota North Stars, helping the club reach the 1991 Stanley Cup finals. He also spent time with the San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers, retiring after the 1994-95 season.
"We are extremely shocked and saddened by this news," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson stated in a team news release. "Gaetan, in every way, epitomized what a team player should be — unselfish, caring and supportive of his teammates.
"His love for the game was unmeasured and despite his relatively short career in San Jose his connection with our fans was amongst the strongest of any player to ever wear our uniform. He was a remarkable man who will be deeply missed."
In 1,028 NHL regular-season games, the six-foot, 190-pound forward scored 179 goals and 254 assists. He also played in 84 playoff contests.
Duchesne later worked as an assistant coach with the defunct Quebec Rafales of the International Hockey League and the Remparts.
He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son, Jeremy, a Philadelphia Flyers draft pick who is currently tending goal for the QMJHL's Val-d'Or Foreurs.